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A dark twisting adventure game with a beautiful anime art style, branching story and many endings.
A dark twisting adventure game with a beautiful anime art style, branching story and many endings.
5,551 backers pledged CA$ 225,386 to help bring this project to life.

Puzzles in the Dark

Posted by Cherrymochi Game Studio (Creator)

When designing Tokyo Dark  we took a step back and looked at puzzles. We asked ourselves some questions: Why do adventure games have puzzles? What are the problems with puzzles? How can we do puzzles differently?

The best analogy for a puzzle is a locked door. It stops your progress, insists on your attention and requires you to take action. Puzzles are great when they are the perfect difficulty for you, after a few minutes of thinking you find the hidden key, unlock the door and continue with a nice blast of dopamine to the brain making you feel great. But when a puzzle is too abstract, or requires skills you find challenging, you are stuck, staring at a locked door. The sense of immersion is broken as you randomly experiment to move the story forward.

 InTokyo Dark we want to avoid this. Our focus is on telling a great story with interesting choices, we don't want anyone to get stuck and frustrated.

We came to the conclusion that to us the most interesting thing about a puzzle is not if it can be solved, but how it is solved and what that solution says about someone's personality.

Puzzles in Tokyo Dark all have a number of solutions. An early example is the very obvious locked door mentioned above. You can take your time to explore the environment and find a key, you can persuade someone to help you or you can simply smash the door in with a sledge hammer. Either way you'll be able to move on, but the method you used to solve the puzzle will change Detective Itō's stats and may have consequences later in the story.

To unlock the most challenging ending in Tokyo Dark will take a huge amount of dedication and puzzle solving but the ending you'll find won't necessarily be the "best". If you choose to smash your way through the game, not read any background text, take the shortest paths and just enjoy the scenery you won't be punished! It's ok! If you like difficult puzzles then you'll find lots in Tokyo Dark to solve, but if you just want to kick back and experience a great story with interesting characters then we promise we won't throw any unnecessary and frustrating locked doors in your way. They'll be wide open... inviting you in...whispering to you from the shadows...


Defeated Champion, O.F., and 63 more people like this update.


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    1. Miss Erica on

      I love that idea of being able to have more than one way to solve puzzles. I am that type of person to get frustrated if I can't figure it out. In turn making me have to stop playing for a bit and come back with a fresh perspective.

    2. Akemi on

      I've been hoping adventure games would follow the more free-form puzzles of RPGs for so many years, so this is great to hear.

    3. Sandy Aj on

      Yay im so happy the puzzles will have more ways than one to solve it (has traumatic flashback of the 1st water puzzle in onimusha and how i could never get past it, forcing me to abandon the game till i found a walk through years later)

    4. Kilvoctu on

      I'm a huge puzzle guy, and is partly the reason I love this genre. So long y'all don't have anything like the infamous water puzzle from Onimusha, it should be good, heh.

    5. Missing avatar

      Erin Congdon

      Thats a cool idea, and I can see it making the game appealing to a broader audience. I love puzzles, but there are people who would rather get on with the story. Having the different solutions affect the stats sounds like another way to replayability.

    6. Aurelien VANDOORINE on

      That sounds promissing, new features and ideas for adventure games is really good. Really looking forward this project completion :)

    7. Mr.Monttu

      DAAAAAAAMN...Sounds so good *_*

    8. Ebu diGriz on

      I really like the approach you've chosen for puzzle implementation including character development based on the way how things are solved. Can't wait to see it in action!

    9. Otoshigami No. 40723

      with multiple paths of solving the puzzles with some prices and unforeseen consequences in it. I think it will be a nice touch on it. :)

    10. Axpere on

      Another good point of the game!

    11. meteo_snow on

      Be true to "unlike a visual novel ". 【クロックタワー】のような探索ホラーの香りがしますね。凄く楽しそう(怖いけど)です!
      There are more ways to breakthrough than one.
      I really love then! パズルの突破方法が複数あるのは、良いですね。ゴリ押し縛りで進めてみるのも、また一興・・といったところでしょうか。

    12. John Calderini on

      As a DnD player, I REALLY like that approach. I can't wait!

    13. Matotron on

      I really hope you can get this work. I have come to realise puzzles are my least favourite part of adventure games.

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      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    15. O.F. on

      It sounds like a very interesting approach, and it promotes replayability.
      I tend to be a completionist in games, examining every nook and cranny twice even when some NPC is screaming for help on the other side of a door.
      There's that difference between what you would do IRL and what you do because you are in the context of a game. Like, who would actually lose their time looking around for hypothetical clues about a door code when the time is pressing and there's a sledge hammer at the ready, huh ? On the other hand, in a game, you know there has to be a solution somewhere and the sledge hammer only has disadvantages, like visible damage and all the lore you'll be missing because you hurried through the area ...

    16. Missing avatar

      gianluca on

      I like this game more and more every day. Nice attitude you guys have. Way to go!!

    17. Sam Heckathorn on

      It to be exciting how the puzzles will be implemented, I've been looking forward to this project for awhile and glad to see its continued progress